Seven boys selected a quilt for their bunks at Boys Haven on Tuesday. My friend and I had made two, she and her mother one—all of blue jeans, pockets, ticking, and bandana fabric. The project is one that the local Quilt Guild has participated in for many years but this was my first time to donate and to attend the selection. We had a lot of fun making those quilts as each of us has boys of our own.
Boys Haven is a nation wide organization but the local one has had financial difficulties in the wake of Hurricanes Rita, Humberto, and Ike—three hurricanes in three successive years. Some of the buildings are falling down, some need a bit of repair, others need major renovation. The city of Beaumont has not been generous to anyone making repairs, insisting on a level of ‘safety’ that seems more befitting space travel or survival of a nuclear holocaust.
The boys ranged in age from 10 to 17. They seemed resigned to their lot in life; most of them had ‘earned’ the right to go home for the holidays but sometimes families would not pick them up because there wasn’t enough money for gifts for all the children. I wondered what happened to these boys once they aged out of the system. I wanted to take them all home with me and feed them milk and cookies and take them to the park or library or read them stories or help with homework or buy them some new shoes.
I’ll have to content myself with making more quilts to keep them warm and add a bit of color to their life.